This 1/4-scale Rider-Ericsson hot air pump engine was made from a set of castings from Myers Engine Works. It was then expertly machined and painted. Completed in 1982, this is one of two pump engines made by Bill Fowler. The pin stripe job was done by “Shaky Jake,” a legendary Southern California hotrod pin stripe artist. Les Cade built the clear acrylic water receptacle so the pumping action can be seen. Heat is provided to the 2″ bore engine by a propane flame, and after a few minutes of warm-up, the engine runs about 1,500 RPM in almost total silence. Developed in the 1800’s, engines of this type were known to pump more water to higher elevations per amount of fuel used than any other type of powered pump in that era. Watch a YouTube video of the engine running below. Read more about Bill Fowler.

The 1/4-scale Rider-Ericsson hot air pump engine.

Exhibit added: May 14, 2010 - Last modified: August 31, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship